Accident description
Last updated: 2 August 2014
Status:
Date:Wednesday 19 November 1980
Time:07:25
Type:Silhouette image of generic B742 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 747-2B5B
Operator:Korean Air Lines - KAL
Registration: HL7445
C/n / msn: 21773/366
First flight: 1979-03-23 (1 year 8 months)
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7Q
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 14
Passengers:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 198
Total:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 212
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Seoul-Gimpo (Kimpo) International Airport (SEL) (   South Korea) show on map
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Anchorage International Airport, AK (ANC/PANC), United States of America
Destination airport:Seoul-Gimpo (Kimpo) International Airport (SEL/RKSS), South Korea
Flightnumber: 015
Narrative:
A Boeing 747-2B5B passenger jet, registered HL7445, was damaged beyond repair in a landing accident at Seoul-Gimpo (Kimpo) International Airport (SEL), South Korea. There were 198 passengers and crew members on board. The airplane operated on Korean Air Lines flight KE015 from Los Angeles (LAX) to Seoul (SEL) with a refueling stop at Anchorage (ANC).
There was a visibility of 1000m in patchy fog as flight KE015 approached Kimpo Airport's runway 14. The aircraft landed 90 metres short of the threshold and contacted a 45 deg embankment slope. The main landing gear was pushed backward and up causing a rupture in the bottom of the plane into the cargo compartment where struts were ruptured. The plane slid down the runway on its nose gear and belly. The wings were intact. No fuel tanks were ruptured. Fire
erupted in the cargo compartment area from sparks and hydraulic fluid from the ruptured struts. There was no fuel fire. The plane quickly filled with smoke. The fire entered and impinged on the seats from floor grills. Fire gutted the fuselage quickly.
Evacuation was fairly orderly. There were some injuries getting off the plane. The smoke got heavy fairly rapidly. Some survivors suffered smoke inhalation. Of the 18 crew and 208 passengers aboard, 6 crew and 9 passengers suffered fatal fire injuries. Four passengers were seriously injured.


Sources:
» A Benefit Analysis for Cabin Water Spray Systems and Enhanced Fuselage Burnthrough Protection (CAA PAPER 2002/04)
» Flight International, 29 November 1980


Photos

photo of Boeing 747-2B5B HL7445
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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Anchorage International Airport, AK to Seoul-Gimpo (Kimpo) International Airport as the crow flies is 6026 km (3766 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Boeing 747

  • 9th loss
  • 1481+ built
  • 6th worst accident (at the time)
  • 18th worst accident (currently)
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 South Korea
  • 6th worst accident (at the time)
  • 10th worst accident (currently)
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